AN OFFICIAL of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Northern Mindanao said an investigation is being conducted as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries were reportedly called in for political activities.
DSWD Northern Mindanao 4Ps spokesperson Oliver Inodeo said they are investigating one situation in Cagayan de Oro and in Iligan City.
“Duha ka reports atong nadawat and currently investigated siya (We received two reports on these [political activities] and we are currently investigating this),” Inodeo said.
Some 4Ps beneficiaries were allegedly called to participate in a picket conducted by the Padayon Pilipino political party in front of the Court of Appeals (CA) this week.
These supporters were staging protests and watching that CA hands down a rightful judgment on the writ of the preliminary injunction filed by the legal team of Mayor Oscar Moreno in relation to his dismissal order from the ombudsman.
Padayon Pilipino ally Puntod Barangay chairman Marvin Beja said that supporters joining the rally came from different barangays who signified support for vice mayor Caesar Ian Acenas' move to intervene on Moreno's dismissal order case.
Inodeo said another report came that some 4Ps beneficiaries in Iligan City were threatened that their cash grants would be reduced by P500 if they do not support a particular political candidate.
Inodeo said their investigation would zero in as regards to the DSWD program and its beneficiaries affected by these political activities.
In a press statement released by DSWD Northern Mindanao, it said: “Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries are free to decide, choose, and express their beliefs and rights on issues concerning their lives and their communities.”
DSWD has assured the implementation of the anti-Epal campaign to impede candidates and political parties from utilizing programs and projects of DSWD for their own interest.
But DSWD furthered that “it does not hinder the beneficiaries of its programs and projects from participating in the political process. Beneficiaries have the right to support, campaign for, and vote the candidate and political parties they believe in, as long as they do not do so during official DSWD activities and do not use DSWD resources.”
Pantawid Pamilya regional program coordinator Kenneth Haze Sanchez said that DSWD is monitoring all activities of the program in the region to ensure the non-partisanship of the program and its workers maintained.
DSWD stresses that only DSWD can enlist or delist a beneficiary as long as the conditions of the programs are attained and DSWD has the sole authority to delist beneficiaries if they don’t comply to their co-responsibilities with the program.
4Ps is a social protection measure of the Philippine government that focuses on human capital investment to the poor households in the country by using conditional cash transfer based on their compliance with regard to conditions being agreed upon.